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Old pelacok or betel nut chisel, Sasak people, Lombok, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia (DSA)

The superbly carved old wooden handle, circa 1930, depicts a very old man sitting on his haunches on the back of a tortoise, a symbol of longevity. This might be a gentle joke since the pelacok (pronounced pelor-choc) is a tool used by older people when they loose their teeth and can no longer chew betel nut, the hard seed of the Areca palm. It is made by attaching a beautifully carved handle to a steel chisel blade which fits inside a deep mortar. The betel chewer inserts the betel nut and chops and crushes it before wrapping with the pepper leaf and white lime powder to make a mildly narcotic betel nut chew. This handle has a good, old patina of much handling and some wear on the left side(probably because the owner wore a heavy ring that rubbed against it. The chisel bade has rusted and needs a good oil bath, but I have not touched it.Length of handle 9 cm / 3 inches, overall length including blade 20 cm / 8 inches.

Price: 220.00 AUD
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